Life is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful by Lisa Hilton
buy album

Lisa Hilton

Label: Ruby Slippers Productions
Released: 2022
Duration: 53:00
Views: 321

Track Listing

Ernie's Blues; Retro Road Trip; Nightingales and Fairy Tales; Too Hot; Unforgotten Moments, Half Forgotten Dreams; Stepping Into Paradise: Santa Monica Samba; Seduction; Temporary Lullaby; More Than Another Day; So This Is Love.


Personnel

Luques Curtis
bass, acoustic

Album Description

Lisa Hilton & her trio with Luques Curtis and Rudy Royston…Life Is Beautiful “The album that absolutely enthralls… There's an affirmation of goodness to the music of pianist Lisa Hilton, a quiet something of a positive nature that is known intrinsically true so listen in to Life Is Beautiful before it's all too late.” - All About Jazz “Music of great depth & skill…brilliantly executed, gorgeously rendered, accessible-to-many virtuosic music.” - The NYC Jazz Record “An absolutely beautiful album. I love all the tunes…” — KVNF Radio “Dazzling!” — The Midwest Record “Impressionistic” — Jazz Weekly "I feel that I have been creating this album my entire life: it is filled with, or more accurately, drenched in, my abiding devotion to the piano, animated with a lifelong enthusiasm for composing, and inspired by my love of nature. My hope is that you will be uplifted and inspired by this twenty first century jazz with its influences from different cultures, genres and eras. This music is meant to be timeless and essential listening for our complex lives, all centered on the beauty of life that we are surrounded by daily.” — Lisa Hilton "I have been a fan of blues inflected jazz since my teen years. "Ernie’s Blues" has stunning chords alongside loose bluesy passages – I really love how {{Luques Curtis}} and {{Rudy Royston}} sound on this one! Written by sax musician/composer {{Ernie Wilkins"", it’s an example of how I prefer to compose too - crafting melodic lines, but allowing room for improvisation. I took piano lessons in middle and high school, and was fortunate that my teacher introduced me to the syncopated rhythms of mid - century masters such as Bartók, Prokofiev, and Kabalevsky. "Retro Road Trip" has a similar energy to their music, but this tune also has a distinct vintage American vibe too. When I was growing up, my mother would play her beloved jazz standards on our upright piano, but the music often puzzled me: How do you dance Cheek to Cheek? Why were there Three Coins in a Fountain? Where was Chattanooga? Years later, those romantic standards Mom would play filtered into my two love songs here: "Nightingales & Fairy Tales" and "So This Is Love". "Unforgotten Moments, Half Forgotten Dreams" seems to express the last two years – moments never before experienced that will not be forgotten, sandwiched in our psyche with previous dreams from the “olden days” of 2019. "Stepping Into Paradise" invites us to appreciate, or step into, each moment as a form of paradise. Musical ideas that drift, shift and swing effortlessly makes this tune one of my favorites. The exotic rain forests of the Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand have a mysterious energy. In "Too Hot", I was curious if I could reproduce that vibe by modulating in different keys, (also called modes). Modal jazz produces a unique musical ambience and was used fluently in the past by {{Miles Davis}}, {{Bill Evans}} and others. Living in Southern California, Latin music is as much of a part of our culture as our outdoor lifestyle. "Santa Monica Samba" is not a samba, but it’s a good - mood tune written after witnessing a seemingly endless West Coast sunset. I added a little phrase inspired by the composer/pianist {{Horace Silver}} who lived near there for many years. I began “writing” music with names like "Fairy Dance" when I was about five years old. Later on as a teen, I would play what was to became "Seduction", for my encouraging friends, which eventually grew into the complete composition here. It is still one of my favorites to play! "Temporary Lullaby" was written for my daughter who was in Italy in 2020: I had been contemplating that all life is temporary, so it is essential to savor each “lullaby” of time. "More Than Another Day" was influenced by my favorite composers: {{Miles Davis}}, {{Antonio Carlos Jobim}} and {{Cole Porter}}. I admire Miles for the creativity of his best - selling album, Kind of Blue, which introduced the “cool” jazz style - music played with a less frantic or “cooler” approach, with written arrangements and classical influences. Jobim had intriguing harmonic ideas and timeless melodies. Porter, a true musical genius, wrote many beloved songs, but I favor his subtle ways with rhythm and note placement. I have always loved the piano and composing – they allow me freedom to create abundantly, communicate personally and explore musically. I am often asked what pianists I am most inspired by - I admire {{Bill Evans}}, {{Horace Silver}}, {{Count Basie}}, {{Duke Ellington}}, {{Brad Mehldau}} and Yuja Wang, but I feel more influenced by great composers of all eras, spending countless hours every year investigating their music. I am also motivated by women with remarkable musical life stories like Clara Schumann: a piano virtuoso and composer who toured extensively, financially supporting both her demanding father and her mentally unstable husband, composer Robert Schumann. {{Lil Hardin}}: a successful jazz composer, pianist and band leader at a time when there were few women in jazz, she also taught music theory to her husband, trumpeter {Louis Armstrong}}. Famed composer, lyricist and singer, {{Joni Mitchell}} should also be noted for being an innovative guitarist, a bandleader and music publisher. Women have always been creative leaders as composers, musicians, bandleaders and instrumentalists, and culturally we are indebted to their artistic legacies. Their stories should be told and their music heard in in theaters presenting opera, classical music and jazz around the world." - Lisa Hilton


Tags

Reviews

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Life is Beautiful

Ruby Slippers Productions
2022

buy

Transparent Sky

Ruby Slippers Productions
2021

buy

More Than Another Day

Ruby Slippers Productions
2020

buy

Chalkboard Destiny

Ruby Slippers Productions
2019

buy

Oasis

Ruby Slippers Productions
2018

buy

Escapism

Ruby Slippers Productions
2017

buy

Post a comment about this album

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.